HILTON HEAD, S.C. — The third-ranked Florida State beach volleyball team (10-1) split their two matches on the final day of the Hilton Head Island Invitational. The Noles opened the day with a 5-0 win over College of Charleston before coming up just short against No. 4 USC 3-2.
No. 3 Florida State vs. College of Charleston
The Seminoles started the day with their seventh sweep in the first 10 matches of the season. The Noles totally dominated College of Charleston, allowing no more than 10 points in five of the 10 sets played.
Florida State performed well in the first wave of matches taking courts four and five in straight sets. Sophomore Morgan Chacon and freshman Keara Rutz put the Noles on the board first with a dominant performance on court five. They took the first set 21-12 and improved on that in the second set, taking the set 21-8 and the match. Senior Payton Caffrey and freshman Liz Waters-Leiga gave the Garnet and Gold a 2-0 lead heading into the second wave of matches with a 21-15, 25-23 win on court four. In the second set the Seminole duo fell behind 20-17 before tying it up at 20. After exchanging points with College of Charleston, the FSU pair pulled ahead and won the second set 25-23.
With today’s win, Payton Caffrey moves into sole possession of first place for most wins at FSU on court four.
Wave two got underway with total domination from the Seminoles on courts one, two and three. The three pairs did not allow more than eight points in the first set and allowed a combined 21 points on three courts. Sophomore Kate Privett and freshman Maddie Anderson clinched the match on court three. After dominating the first set 21-7 they did not ease off the gas, winning 21-10 in the second set.
With the match already in hand, senior Molly McBain and junior Alaina Chacon cruised to a win on court one. The pair only allowed 15 total points, winning 21-6, 21-9. Juniors Madison Fitzpatrick and Alice Zeimann capped it off with a 21-8, 21-14 win on court two.
No. 3 Florida State vs. No. 4 Southern Cal
Florida State suffered their first loss of the season in a tightly contested 3-2 match against No. 4 USC. The match came down to a third set on court two which the Seminoles went on to lose 15-13.
The Seminoles got out to a hot start in the first wave, capturing the first point of the match on court four. Caffrey and Waters-Leiga grabbed the first set 21-16 and turned that into a 21-13 second set.
On court five, Chacon and Rutz were down most of the match but tied it up at 19. The match would go to extra points and USC would win 22-20. The Seminole duo would bounce back in the second set taking it convincingly 21-15. With the third set tied at five, the Noles could not get the lead as they would go on to lose the final set 15-13.
Heading into the second wave of matches tied at one, the Seminoles would lose all three first sets. USC would take its first lead of the match with a 21-19, 21-17 win on court three. Florida State would tie it up at two with a big three-set win on court one. McBain and Chacon lost the first set 21-19 but bounced back to take the next two sets 21-17, 15-10.
The fate of the match hinged on court two as Fitzpatrick and Zeimann lost the first set 21-18. They bounced back to take the second 21-15. In the final set the two teams continued to exchange blows. Down 14-12 Florida State was able to narrow it to 14-13 but would lose the final set 15-13.
The Noles head to Jacksonville next Saturday, March 2 for two matches against UNCW (11:30 am) and UNF (1:00 pm).
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#3 Florida State 5, College of Charleston 0
Ext. Cassie Anderson/Alex Hilton (FS) vs. Kyra Thompson/Caroline Bower (COFC) 19-21, 21-13, unfinished
College of Charleston 0-3
Florida State 10-0; National ranking #3
Order of finish: Doubles (5,4,3,1,2);
#4 USC 3, #3 Florida State 2
Ext. Jenna Johnson/Lexi McKeown (FS) def. Myszkowski, Karina/Kim, Ariyana (USC) 21-7, 21-11
USC 2-2; National ranking #4
Florida State 10-1; National ranking #3
Order of finish: Doubles (4,5,3,1,2);